I have been an Amateur (Ham) Radio Operator since 1982. Yes, we still exist! Besides chatting with other hams all over the world, we provide backup communications in times of crisis.
In 1989, Hurricaine Hugo devastated the Carolinas. I was the "net control" station during the night of the storm. We watched in horror as the trees were blown down taking with them the power lines and telephone lines. Because my station operates on battery power, I was able to stay on the air and my fellow hams assisted our first responders.
There have been other occasions where I have been directly involved in providing emergency communications.
This last August, Houston was set upon by Hurricane Harvey. Hams from around the area responded to help our community. My role in the communications was to be a relay station from the Harris County EOC to the state EOC in Austin.
Harvey was a terrible tragedy with over 5' of rain. Many peoples homes have been destroyed and their lives devastated. We are indeed fortunate that we did not lose power and Internet as Puerto Rico did a few weeks later.
After Irma hit Puerto Rico, I listened for hams there to get back up on emergency power and stood ready to assist.
Ham operators provide our own equipment, our own training and our own expertise at no charge. In fact, we are forbidden to charge for relaying messages. We do these things because we care.
A few days ago, the Internet had a major outage lasting many hours. What if an emergency came up?
Remember that cell phones and the Internet rely upon massive infrastructure. Equipment, towers and power.
Ham radio has very little infrastructure. It has only a radio, a power source and an antenna.
This is where I need your help. Since Harvey, my main radio has been malfunctioning. So has my linear amplifier. I have been trying to fix these things, but they are very old and parts are difficult to find.
I'm asking for your assistance to enable me to purchase new equipment - equipment with a warranty. I have tentatively picked out a Kenwood TS-590SG transceiver and an Acom linear amplifier. There are some other items needed.
Upon successful completion of this fundraiser and the christening of the new station, I will send a postcard with a picture of the station to all contributors. Also, when my station is used to help in an emergency, I will email every contributor a note letting them know that THEY made a difference - that YOU made a difference.
Furthermore, I encourage everyone to get a radio license. My radio room is open to young people who want to try out the hobby and talk around the world.
Your support means so much to me. I've never asked anyone for anything. I ask that you give only what you can easily afford and only if you feel that it is important to YOU.
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